NZ avocado growers "significantly" impacted by recent adverse weather

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NZ avocado growers

The impacts of Cyclone Cook and the remnants of Cyclone Debbie could reportedly be felt by the country's avocado industry for many years. 

Local media NZ Herald reported avocado and kiwifruit growers were cleaning up after bearing the brunt of the two severe weather events that tore trees from the ground and flooded orchards throughout the Bay of Plenty this month.

NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular said the industry had experienced its biggest ever season for both volume and value with 7 million trays of avocados grown, harvested, packed, marketed and exported.

However Cyclone Cook, as well as the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie, had impacted New Zealand avocado growers "significantly", according to the story.

"Growers have reported fallen trees and broken branches as a result of the strong winds experienced from Cyclone Cook," she was quoted as saying.

"Throughout the Bay of Plenty there are reports from avocado growers of isolated incidences of uprooted trees, trees with broken branches, significant amounts of fallen fruit and flooding.

"The extent of the damage varies across the region, but has been made worse due to the significant amount of rain that had fallen in the three weeks prior to Cyclone Cook hitting."

Scoular said although the full extent of Cyclone Cook was yet to be determined, long-term effects from the heavy rain and wet soils might have made an impact on the trees for years to come, NZ Herald reported.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated chief executive Nikki Johnson said there had been a "small handful" of flooded orchards in and around the Edgecumbe area after Cyclone Debbie but Cyclone Cook had not made much of an impact.

She explained it would be some time before the extent of long-term damage to kiwifruit plants from flooding in this area would be known.


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